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Reporters on the Job

You're Where? Staff writer Scott Peterson first ran into the Iranian rebels, the Mujahideen-e Khalq Organization (MKO), in Baghdad in 1996, when they used to hang around the press center.

The MKO still makes contact with Scott from time to time. The most memorable, he says, was after the Monitor published a lengthy story late last year, that included detailed interviews with former MKO operatives in Tehran.

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"I did most of the reporting, then wrote the story on the way to Christmas vacation in the States," Scott recalls. "But when it came time to get comment from the MKO itself, I had to call from a Canadian island where my sister lives."

Scott first had to go through a secretary in the MKO's Paris office, who needed a call-back number. Not wanting to give his sister's home phone number, Scott offered to call back at any time. The secretary said no one was available.

"Later, when the MKO sent us a blistering complaint, I found out why," says Scott. "In their letter, they accused me of making the call from Tehran and being afraid to give a call-back number. My protestations that I was on a Canadian island, they said, were just a ruse."

David S. Hauck
Africa/Americas editor

Survey says...

Europe's Beavers: Slovenians are apparently Europe's busiest people, while Germans and Norwegians are among the biggest loafers, according to a "time use" survey of 10 countries.

Adding together domestic and "gainful" work, the European Union statistics office found that Slovenes are the most industrious, with women busy 8 hours, 47 minutes each day and men 7 hours, 44 minutes. Hungarian, Estonian, and French women were not far behind. Among men, Swedes, Britons, and the French trailed by only a few minutes.

Germans spent the least amount of time working, about 7 hours each day.

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Norwegians have the most free time - about 5-1/2 hours.